Cabrio gains a few kilos, as you might expect, but it keeps many of the attractions of the hard-top
Cabrio feels assured and is good value
If you are in the market for a 911 Cabriolet, the GTS is the best soft-top on offer
PDK gearbox is fast, but it offers none of the tactile brilliance of the manual shift
Plenty of Alcantara inside
What is it?
We’ve already established that the Carrera GTS is possibly the pick of the two-wheel-drive 997-edition 911s. The same recipe is also available as a convertible and, in both hard and soft-top guises, with a PDK dual-clutch gearbox. So can the ‘softest’ GTS still stack up?
What's it like?
The cabrio gains a few kilos, as you might expect, but it keeps many of the attractions of the hard-top, with the Powerkit (an £8241 option on a Carrera S), plenty of Alcantara inside, the wider tracks of the Carrera 4S platform and the purity of rear drive.
It’s even a little quicker to 62mph in PDK form, and a very tall seventh gear gives it better overall economy and CO2 emissions. You get gearshift paddles too, incidentally, instead of the infuriating button set-up. Given that this car costs almost £6k less than a Carrera S Cabriolet fitted with the Powerkit and PDK – and it offers more beyond those options – it looks a relative bargain.
The GTS feels assured, but the real sparkle of the coupé is diminished. The modest power gain seems less noticeable amid the extra bulk of the convertible, and with much of the extra enjoyment beyond 6000rpm, you’ll need to be very committed to open-air pace if you’re to savour it.
The steering loses a little of its crispness, too. It’s accurate enough, but a little of the bite and keen turn-in has been traded off, perhaps to cope with the additional weight.
Of course, the PDK gearbox is fast, but it offers none of the tactile brilliance of the manual shift. At least it comes with proper paddle shifters. And a GTS with this transmission is marginally more refined at motorway cruising than the manual, purely because of a seventh ratio that feels extremely tall (it’s probably the reason for its slight advantage in CO2 emissions and economy, actually).
Should I buy one?
The end result is a GTS that’s less fun to drive than the coupé. But then, the same can be said for any roofless 911. So, if you are in the market for a 911 Cabriolet, the GTS is the best soft-top on offer. Even with the more limited effect of the Powerkit, it still provides enough extras for the money to be the value proposition in the range.
Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Cabriolet
Price: £85,965; Top speed: 189mph; 0-62mph: 4.6sec; Economy: 27.4mpg (combined); CO2: 242g/km; Kerb weight: 1545kg; Engine 6 cyls, 3800cc, petrol; Power: 402bhp at 7300rpm; Torque: 310lb ft at 4200-5600rpm; Gearbox: 7-spd dual-clutch